Box Elder County Commissioners recently gave the go-ahead for the Box Elder County sheriff's office to apply for a federal grant that would assist the county in hiring two new deputies.

The need is made apparent by the increase in calls for assistance received. From Jan. 1 to Aug. 1, 1995, the agency received 2,218 calls, compared to 1,485 for the same time period in 1994.Of the 22 active officers currently employed by the department, only 12 are available for patrol, Chief Deputy Lynn Yeates told commissioners. The others are either administrators or involved in civil cases.

The grant is available under a federal program that will pay 75 percent of salary and benefits for the new officers for the first year, with that percentage decreasing annually until the county would have to assume the costs the fourth year.

Officers will not be hired until the grant is awarded.

Tremonton, Garland and Perry have already successfully hired police officers under the same grant program.